/ TDF Programme, the excitement begins here

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Tiberius - on 07 Jun 2012
Just got the 'official' programme, some interesting reading even if I did know most of it already (the Schleks are, apparently, not v good at time trials :D)

The route this year seems to have been made for the likes of Evans and Wiggo...I think I'm going with Evans again (I picked him last year), with Wiggo 2nd...if his luck holds.
yorkshireman - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to Tiberius:

Caught the trailer on ITV for the ITV 4 coverage this year and starting to get quite excited.

I missed most of last years (ironically because I was on holiday in France) but now I live here, work from home and have ITV4 over satellite so I'll be watching every minute of it!

It will be interesting seeing Evans and Wiggo size each other up in the Dauphiné - about as close as it gets at the moment, and I think today is an individual time trial just like the one at the end of the TdF.


fxceltic on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to Tiberius: I can see wiggins putting 3-4 mins on evans in the TT's so the question is whether or not evans can get that back on the tougher mountain stages. He probably is a bit better than Brad in the mountains, its going to be tight I think.

Froome is also an interesting option for Sky, if he can be anything like his Vuelta form this year he can either be crucial in helping brad to the win or maybe even win it himself. Cadel will have to do it a bit more on his own i feel.
a concerned citizen - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to fxceltic: Evans is a better tester than you're giving him credit for. He only lost the final TT by 7" to Tony Martin last year and was only ~40" slower than Wiggins in the lap of Annecy in 09.

I'd say it was between Wiggins and Evans given the parcours. But equally anything can, and quite often does, happen. I wouldn't bet against a Schleck on the podium either.
Liam M - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to Tiberius: I hadn't realised some of the vicious climbs they'd included this year. I wonder if that could play into someone like Sanchez's hands - crack Wiggo and Cadel before the TT and not lose a silly amount there.

I think Evans or Wiggins are still the most likely though, and with what Evans is showing in the Dauphine at the moment, he'd be my current favourite.

Excitement building here (and only in part due to going out to follow the first week)
Liam M - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to a concerned citizen: A Schleck podium would require them to be arsed - something not particularly evident so far this season.
fxceltic on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to a concerned citizen:
> (In reply to fxceltic) Evans is a better tester than you're giving him credit for. He only lost the final TT by 7" to Tony Martin last year and was only ~40" slower than Wiggins in the lap of Annecy in 09.
>
> I'd say it was between Wiggins and Evans given the parcours. But equally anything can, and quite often does, happen. I wouldn't bet against a Schleck on the podium either.

I know hes capable of being pretty good, but theres 2 time trials, both longer than those you mention (I think) and a prologue. I think 3 minutes, ish, is possible across that lot. Im also being optimistic as I want Brad to win over Cadel.

I think we'll now more after today in any event...
a concerned citizen - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to fxceltic:
> I know hes capable of being pretty good, but theres 2 time trials, both longer than those you mention (I think) and a prologue. I think 3 minutes, ish, is possible across that lot. Im also being optimistic as I want Brad to win over Cadel.

I think it will be closer. The thing it mostly comes down to is who wants it more. Last year Evans pulled out that TT ride as he knew it would win him his first Maillot Jaune. Similarly in 09, Wiggins had the possibility of a podium and rode accordingly. And you've then got to consider recovery, the first TT is after 8 days of racing and the final one after nearly three weeks.


> I think we'll now more after today in any event...

This is true. Looking forward to it.

I wouldn't write off Schelck just yet, his training plan seems to involve a lacklustre pre tour and so far has followed this up with 2nd,1st/2nd,2nd.
Lord of Starkness - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to a concerned citizen:

We'll get some better pointers after the Tour de Suisse, as several of the other contenders have skipped the Dauphine in favour of that race for TDF prep.
Tiberius - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to Tiberius) I can see wiggins putting 3-4 mins on evans in the TT's

No way. Evans is one of the top TT riders.

As someone above said, it depends largely on how much they want it. Evans now has his win, how much does he want another one?

Some very steep, but relatively short hills, as someone mentioned could play into the hands of Sanches perhaps.

Cadel has to work mostly on his own? Yeah, but he's used to that, nothing new there.

Obviously I'd like to see Wiggo come through, I think it largely depends on if he's got the training right. The problem with using the Dauphin etc is that one or more of them may be using it as training, so it's not always a good indication; would you have taken Armstrong's performance in any race before the tour?
Tiberius - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to Tiberius:

I was gonna add, if I was the Schlecks then I'd probably just wait for next year, they've got no chance this year, unless Evans and Wiggo both f*ck up
thermal_t - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to Tiberius: Today's TT performance looks promising for Wiggins, put 1 min 43 into Evans and incredibly 34 secs into Martin, impressive.
Dave Kerr - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to thermal_t:
> (In reply to Tiberius) Today's TT performance looks promising for Wiggins, put 1 min 43 into Evans and incredibly 34 secs into Martin, impressive.

Impressive indeed but to be fair to Martin I don't think he's quite back to his best.
fxceltic on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to Tiberius: So, I was correct about wiggo being able to put serious time in to Evans on a TT this long after all...
fxceltic on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to Tiberius:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
> [...]
>
> No way. Evans is one of the top TT riders.
>
> As someone above said, it depends largely on how much they want it. Evans now has his win, how much does he want another one?
>
> Some very steep, but relatively short hills, as someone mentioned could play into the hands of Sanches perhaps.
>
> Cadel has to work mostly on his own? Yeah, but he's used to that, nothing new there.
>
> Obviously I'd like to see Wiggo come through, I think it largely depends on if he's got the training right. The problem with using the Dauphin etc is that one or more of them may be using it as training, so it's not always a good indication; would you have taken Armstrong's performance in any race before the tour?

From memory didn't lance win back to back dauphines prior to winning the tour? If so then the answer is yes?
andy - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to thermal_t:
> (In reply to Tiberius) Today's TT performance looks promising for Wiggins, put 1 min 43 into Evans and incredibly 34 secs into Martin, impressive.

Just watched the Dauphine TT highlights a - amazing from Wiggo. The comentators were talking about how Martin would take time from Brad and Cad but they'd get it back tomorow and the weekend - and then he goes and takes half a minute out of him!

Triple on Wiggo for the Tour and Olympic TT and Cav for Road Gold? (I know it's a massively long shot but, well, y'know...).
Tiberius - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to andy:
> Triple on Wiggo for the Tour and Olympic TT and Cav for Road Gold?

I hope so. As I said above I'm just a bit reluctant on a few fronts. First I don't necessarily take form in early races as necessarily indicating what will happen in the tour, but it's great if it does.

Second, we've seen this from Wiggo before. He can get v good in the TT, but then his climbing goes to pot, or he gets to be a good climber and his TT drops.

Nevertheless, all doubts aside, this has to be both his best chance and GB's best chance of winning the tour since...well since forever I think.

However, I'm not going to scupper it by making him favorite. For me Evans just pips him as favorite, but a few years ago I didn't think I'd be saying he was anywhere near. I used to think a podium was the most he could hope for, now I'll be disappointed if he doesn't win.

Cav can go win flat stages, he may pick up the green jersey in the process but I think his main aim now should be to overhaul Mercx's total career stage wins. The green will come again in his career I'm sure, this year or some other.
kevin stephens - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to thermal_t)
> [...]
>
> Just watched the Dauphine TT highlights

Was that on TV or the web? If TV which channel?
jaysus - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to kevin stephens:

Wiggo will crack come week three of the Tour.
andy - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to kevin stephens: Eurosport. It's on live today and over the weekend.
ads.ukclimbing.com
andy - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to jaysus:
> (In reply to kevin stephens)
>
> Wiggo will crack come week three of the Tour.

What makes you say that? He was ok in the Giro last year, given the build up.
Tiberius - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to jaysus:

> Wiggo will crack come week three of the Tour.

He certainly doesn't have the experience of going the distance that Evans has, so it's an unknown I guess. I hope he won't, but I know Evans won't, hence I make him the favorite.

However, my hopes are for GB green and yellow...and honestly, never in the history of the tour has that been a realistic option. What a year for GB cycling.
andy guppy - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to Tiberius:
Going to be the worst tour for years......too much TT, not enough high mountains!!!!.....If Wiggins doesnt win this year he never will!!!
Now the Giro was great :]
Guppy
carnie - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to Tiberius: Are you sure seem to remember Brad came 4th the other year in the tour! Really it all depends on who prepares the best if you know what i mean ;-) agree that this year is Brad's best chance so far. Then you have Froome and Sky have 4 in the top 20 in the dauphine.....does this remind anyone of the us postal days? hell even their sprinter bossen hagen was pulling on the climb!
Dave Kerr - on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to carnie:
> hell even their sprinter bossen hagen was pulling on the climb!

The fact that EBH isn't really a sprinter goes some way to explaining that.

Talius Brute - on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to Tiberius:

Am hugely excited about this year's tour, more so than I've been for years. Wiggo has a great chance, he seems in top form.

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